Posts by Nightwrath(A programmer by trade (and fan of the Java platform, incidentally), Răzvan is a big fan of RPGs, both single-player and MMO. Development-wise, he’s interested in ways to shorten the time-to-market for games.)
Three years ago I wrote an article about Final Fantasy XIV, a game that should have changed the MMORPG scene. And it somehow did, but not in a way that anyone could have foreseen. The initial release of the game got some pretty bad reviews, both from the gamers and the critics, being considered a failure. It was rejected even by most of the Final Fantasy fans, which I guess it was a sign of a bigger problem here.
About the Final Fantasy franchise
The Final Fantasy franchise is an interesting case when it comes to MMORPGs, because fans of the single player games (FF I-X, FF XII-XIII) do not exactly overlap with the fans of the online ones (FF XI). Of course, back in 2003 most of the people who started to play FF XI were probably fans of the series, but I think in time that game attracted a more “MMO hardcore” audience, which kept growing and which usually would do some activities more specific to games of the genre (Everquest), like raiding. There is a large FF fanbase population who never even touched the MMO or they tried it and never liked it, or simply just moved out along after a few weeks/months. Some of them also probably never liked the idea of paying a monthly subscription anyway.
This article represents a personal opinion after reading the previous 2 posts made by Felix (see here and here): and I originally wanted to post a small comment, but as I wrote it, I realised it would become too big for just a comment.
A) Luxury and games
I think that first of all we should be aware of a basic fact which we tend to forget many times while arguing about games/engines: the fact that video games are a luxury, not a necessity.
I know I am a little late to the party (seven months a bit too late perhaps), but now I think is a good time for me to say something about a “little” game called Rift. I will not speak here about the game itself (that will happen in a future article), but about the hype surrounding it and the market in which it has grown its own segment. Some may have heard of Rift, some may have not, but at some point it had a shiny trailer which ended with the phrase: “you are not in Azeroth anymore”.
OK, now I am getting to some familiar grounds. For most gamers Azeroth is already famous thanks to World of Warcraft. Unfortunately many people do not seem to know there are other MMORPGs besides Blizzard’s mammoth. Heck, some of them don’t even know what the term MMO really stands for. Or the fact that WOW copied the key elements form a pretty famous game called Everquest. Or the fact that MUDs were the basic ground on which the whole “MMO” thing grew up to become what they are today.
…But does anyone need to be saved? Good question, and to be honest I think lately the paying customers need more and more patience just to keep staying… legal. What? Shouldn’t “legal” be the word by default when it comes to any normal situation that regards the average citizen? I mean, it the eyes of the law we are all innocent until proved otherwise. We don’t ban knives because people could stab other people… and some countries do not ban weapon carrying… but let’s not go there. Usually it’s people who kill people, but some people like to think that “guns do kill people”. I could come up with examples of people who were killed using… a fork. Now, should we “ban” forks? Of course not, that would be insane.
So, everyone who possesses a fork is a potential… killer. Kind of far fetched, isn’t it? And let’s not forget the part with “innocent until…”
Well, apparently when it comes to software or video games… you are not as innocent as you though you might be. You have the potential to be one of the filthy creatures that is stealing some other people’s hard work.
So, the world of Warcraft is coming to an end… Wait, I am not a doomsayer and no, I am not talking about the “World of Warcraft” game itself, but about the current state of the virtual world inside it. In Azeroth the year 2012 will come sooner than expected. On December the 7th, 2010 to be more precisely. That sounds more accurate than the Mayan predictions, doesn’t it?
And, apparently we are not talking about any meteor, nor an asteroid, nor aliens but… a mighty dragon. Yes, the end of all will be… Deathwing, a bad-ass dragon.
Say what? A dragon? But wait, we’ve been killing dragons in WOW since 2005, how could a dragon put an end to the… world?
For the last few weeks there has been an abundance of information related to Square Enix’s new title. And it’s well deserved since the new mmo seems to be the new “monster” in town.
Some would say it is too big of a monster — the system requirements are harsh indeed.These conditions alone will drive away a large chunk of the market. I mean – Intel® Core™ i7 (2.66 GHz) or faster, NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 460 with 768 MB VRAM or equivalent – RECOMMENDED??? I really don’t want to find out what kind of rig is needed for all settings maxed out 😀
For the rest who do possess the “beasts” required… will they buy it? Play it? I mean, seriously… how many fans does the Final Fantasy IP really have? Quite a lot, apparently 🙂